Because the client decides whether to trust the certificate chain, it is recommended that the chain be signed by an issuer whom the client is likely to trust or that the client can be easily configured to trust.

You can create self-signed certificates with long lifespans, but a certificate that a certification authority signs is likely to have a relatively short lifespan. Commercial authorities typically issue certificates that are valid for only one or two years, but some authorities use shorter validity windows.

Short certificate lifespans offer some security benefits. In particular, because most clients do not verify whether a certificate has been revoked, a shorter validity window minimizes the timeframe that a compromised certificate can be used. If the process for replacing certificates is streamlined or automated, administrative inconvenience can be kept to a minimum.

Listener certificates are stored in key stores that are referenced by key manager providers, which in turn provide the logic and configuration for accessing the key stores. If a server component, like a connection handler, requires access to a certificate that it presents to a peer during the TLS negotiation process, that component must reference the key manager provider that points to the key store containing the appropriate certificate. If the key store contains multiple certificates, and if the component referencing the key store includes a property specifying the certificate's nickname, the certificate with that alias is selected. Otherwise, the server lets the Java virtual machine (JVM) select a certificate that might not be well-defined.

The server also provides trust manager providers, which determine whether to trust the certificate chains with which it is presented. A trust manager provider can reference a specified trust store file, but other options include the JVM default trust store, which uses the Java installation's default set of trusted issuers, and the blind trust manager provider, which automatically trusts every certificate chain that is presented to it.


Never use a blind trust manager in a production environment because it leaves the server vulnerable to impersonation and man-in-the-middle attacks. However, a blind trust manager can be convenient in test environments when troubleshooting certain types of problems.